My Dog Ate Polyester Stuffing from a Stuffed Fabric Toy

my dog ate polyester stuffing

Despite what some dog toy makers say, I have never managed to buy a stuffed animal or toy that my dog cannot completely destroy in days. I don’t mind buying him a new stuffed toy now and again, but what I don’t like is how easy it is for my dog eat the polyester stuffing and fabric.

If your dog ate stuffing from a toy and you are not sure what to do, here’s the short answer followed by more detailed advice.

My dog ate polyester stuffing what a fabric toy, what should I do? If your dog ate stuffing from a toy, or part of a fabric toy, don’t try make them throw up. Instead call a vet for advice and to be seen. If the dog is visibly choking, see if you can hook the stuffing out of their mouth without causing harm to you or dog.

Do not reach into your dog’s throat as this might make the polyester stuffing go further down. You vet might ask you to induce vomiting, but this is only an option if you are told to do so.

To confirm, call your vet immediately for advice.

What happens if a dog eats toy stuffing?

Ever wondered what happens if a dog eats foam or toy stuffing? Well, I can tell you because my dog has actually done it.

On the occasions it has happened, I tend to find him eating part of his fabric toy before I get a chance to intervene. This is typically his way to get to the squeaker inside it, as he tears at the polyester stuffing when opening the toy up.

You can see a photo below where he has done this before, but we caught him in time. Before this occasion it had happened once and I had tried to get most of the polyester stuffing out his mouth, but he’d already eaten quite a lot already.

dog ate piece of stuffed toy
Is it ok for dogs to eat toy stuffing? Not if you can help it! It can cause internal blockages.

Your natural instinct is to make a grab for stuffed animal when you see it in your dog’s mouth.

That’s what I did on that one occasion, but unfortunately that produced the opposite reaction to what I wanted; he produced a reflex and swallowed some of the fabric and stuffing.

My dog was fortunate.

My immediate action was to call the vet and then drive up there. The vet checked our dog over and made the call to let the fabric and stuffing pass though as it was small and unlikely to cause him in any harm.

Within 12 hours it had come out in his poop – I was thankful it was so small so there were no complications.

It might not have been that way though, as it’s not unheard of for polyester stuffing and fabric to create internal blockages in dogs, leading to more serious problems.

Having gone through a scare like, I’ve decided to compile the steps you should take when your dog ate a small stuffed toy, as described by my vet.

What to do when your dog eats toy stuffing?

You should always act quickly; here what you should do if your dog has eaten toy stuffing.

1. Call your vet immediately

As soon as you see your dog eating stuffed toy you need to act. Vets say you have around 2 hours before the toy or foreign object gets to their intestines, so this time is critical.

Whilst you should remain calm, that doesn’t mean you should simply sit it out to wait if the stuffing passes through in your dog’s poop.

In most cases, a little toy fabric and stuffing should pass through ok, but it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

2. Can you see the stuffed toy?

If you can see the polyester stuffing in your dog’s mouth and it’s not yet been fully swallowed, see if you can gently pull it out.

If it’s anywhere near in the throat, do not attempt to fish it out as you could push it down further.

3. Is your dog choking on the toy stuffing?

If choking starts and you were unable remove the stuffed toy fabric from your dog’s mouth, you can attempt a Heimlich maneuver. There’s a video on YouTube which shows you how to do it as well as a further video on

4. Do not induce vomiting unless your vet says

Whilst it might be tempting and makes sense to make your dog throw up, do not do it unless your vet tells you to. This is key, because if there’s a sharp object attached to the polyester, it might cause more damage on the way back up… so describe the fabric to your vet and wait for guidance.

If you do decide to induce vomiting, your vet “might” recommend you give the dog 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to make them sick (according to

5. Once at the vets

If you do end up at the vets, a number of things will happen. Depending on the diagnosis, your vet could induce vomiting at the clinic. It’s possible they would perform an X-ray or ultrasound first to see where the stuffing is before taking this decision.

When vomiting isn’t an option and the vet does not think the stuffed toy will pass in your dog’s poop, surgery is performed if the fabric reaches the intestines.

This will mean sedation and the removal of any foreign object.

Is polyester toxic to dogs?

The polyester stuffing itself in plush fabric dog toys is not toxic. But of course, as you now know, the dangers of your dog eating polyester stuffing is more related to internal obstructions and blockages.

How to tell if your dog swallowed a piece of stuff animal?

Sometimes you might be unsure whether your dog actually ate part of a fabric toy and stuffing or not. Obviously not being able to find it is a big clue, but you still might be unsure.

dog ate stuffing from toy coughing
It might be an idea to switch away from stuffed toy animals, and go for rubber instead.

It goes without saying but be safe rather than sorry and contact your vet. But there are certain symptoms and behaviors to check for if you suspect your dog ate polyester stuffing from a toy including:

  • Your dog is vomiting.
  • Your dog is pawing at his mouth.
  • Your dog is hacking up or choking.
  • Your dog is drooling more than usual.
  • Your dog has a loss of appetite.
  • Your dog is acting strange, including lethargy.
  • Your dog has diarrhea.
  • Your dog has constipation from a blockage.
  • Your dog is showing obvious signs of pain.

How to stop your dog eating stuffed toys

The best way to stop your dog from eating fabric toys and stuffing in the first place is to prevent them having access to them. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely stop dogs from chewing things, so it’s a very real hazard that will always be there.

Unless of course, you completely ban all stuffed dog toys from your home.

If you can’t do that, you need to treat your dog like you would a baby or toddler who is going through the hand to mouth teething phase.

That means constant supervision, keep things off the floor, change the stuffed toys they play with, and remove anything that’s too small for them to chew on from the house.

Please Note: This content here is not intended to replace veterinary advice. It is based on my own personal experience and online research.


If your dog has eaten a stuffed toy’s polyester or foam from a fabric dog toy, please call a vet. Chances are your dog will be fine but should never take any chances.

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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